Hit Refresh: How to Stay Healthy Behind a Desk

Fall is upon us, kids are back in school and this time of year feels eerily similar to the start of a new New Year. If you ask me, it’s the perfect time to hit restart after our summers of overindulgence and perhaps skipped workout routines. The easiest place to start; small steps in the office. For many of us, going to work means sitting at a desk for several hours a day.  The limitations of our increasingly tech-reliant economy can lead to a more sedentary office life, at best until we hit the gym after work. But studies have shown that wellness-related activities during the workday can lead to increased focus, productivity, and employee engagement.  A healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to wait until you get home.

Your company may have wellness rooms, offer fitness reward benefits, or hold monthly fitness challenges and you should be engaged with those programs that are suited for you.  There are, however, simple wellness-related steps all of us can take every day to keep focus and stay healthy throughout the workday:

  • Under-Desk Stretching & Yoga: Taking part of your lunch break to stretch, do yoga, or even just walk around outside can help your focus for the rest of the day.  Several online videos and guides outline quick stretching regimens that can be performed under your desk, so you can reap the benefits of some quick exercise without leaving the workspace.
  • Bring Your Lunch: You can obviously get a salad at several popular, quick-service lunch spots in most areas, but it is just as easy to get a burrito and a soda, racking up the calories in the middle of the day.  Packing your own lunch can not only save money but it puts you in control of your lunch selection earlier, instead of letting your stomach make decisions at lunchtime.  Also, avoid snacking throughout the day, or at least choose a healthy option like fruit, nuts, or granola.
  • Standing & Treadmill Desks:  Most of us have seen and heard of the benefits of standing for even a few minutes at a time throughout the day, which has led to the rising popularity of standing and adjustable-height desks.  For a price, desks with treadmills and exercise bikes can allow you to get your steps in and the blood flowing.  For standing desks, consider an anti-fatigue mat underneath for a more ergonomic platform for your feet.

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